Girls Empowerment Network Malawi exists to amplify the voices of adolescent girls and young girls to reach decision making tables. We have been involved in building and creating a grassroot network of girls and young women advocates. We want to give the adolescent girls a voice and a platform where their thoughts and voices are heard. We believe that girls should be properly armed to fight the injustice and inequalities they face in order to achieve positive social transformation and be the change they want to be.
Traditional and cultural practices, beliefs, and negative community attitudes towards girls and women limit adolescent girls and young women from enjoying their full birthrights as citizen of the country. In our target communities, girls are perceived as inferior, marriage materials (brides), weak, unwise and unequal to boys and men. Such perceptions and beliefs have escalated violence against girls and women which is culturally justified and accepted. It fuels adolescent sexual violence for instant a traditional practice called kusasafumbi where adolescent girls (on her first montly period at puberty usually between 9-12 years) are forced to have sexual intercourse to cleanse themselves of ‘childhood curses’. Such traditions promote early sexual debut and usually adolescents who have undergone through this ceremony are expected to marry and such marriages are usually arranged or forced.